Monday, April 25, 2011

More stuff got done / The Culvert Report

So, it's only been two weeks, and we're like crack addicts and we just had to get back out there to do more work.  HARD work.

So this is what our ditch looked like a few months ago:

Pretty steep, really rough, and not a good idea to try to go off-roading in our little Honda Civic.

So here's what it looks like as of right now.  Several hundred (thousand?) shovels full of dirt and we've got ourselves a bit of a land-bridge going. 

We could probably get the car on the property now if we had to, but it's still a bit rough, and we need to add several more feet of dirt before I feel confident we can get on and off without getting stuck.

 Lunch Break!

 Husband rocking the Adventure Builder Club (ABC) T-shirt

Hammer Time!  (Mjolnir is the name of Thor's Hammer)

Since we didn't get a picture of it the last time...
 The floor of the dome:

We also got to meet "Montana" our closest neighbor.  He was mentioned to us by the people we met last time.  While we were digging, he decided to stop by the ditch and introduce himself since it looks like we're not going away and are gonna become a regular fixture in the neighborhood.

He was friendly and gave us some good tips about dealing with the Carbon County Bureaucracy - dig in and don't budge.  He's been out here 14 years, so I'd say it's working for him so far. 

On a side note, we've met 4 neighbors so far, and between them, there's a full set of teeth in there somewhere.  I don't plan on giving up my toothbrush when we come out full time.  I don't want to fit in that bad.

Other bits of note:
This trip the weather was the absolute awesomest to date!  Perfect temperature for working, cool enough to work in short sleeves, but not so cold as to freeze the fingers.  Sunny, and NO WIND!!!  That part was the best.

We also did some layout planning and picked where we're putting the other domes / structures and started digging paths.

We also moved the tires up to where the new berm will be; closer in and shorter, to give more protection for the homestead. 

I also walked out our north border line using the survey stakes and the official marker we found a while ago.  I got pretty close to where our North-East corner is, and I found one of their old wooden stakes on the ground not 20 feet away from where I was, so I know we're in the ballpark.  Now we just gotta find our southern border and we're set.  We will eventually have it professionally surveyed, but this gives us a general idea of our property line.  Not that we're gonna build anything even close to it, it's just good to know.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Days 3 and 4

Day 3 was spent foaming in the gaps in the dome and getting the bricks layed out on the floor.  We also dismantled the pyramid and got the dome camoflaged so it doesn't stand out quite so much.  The longest day so far work-wise and we were so tired when we got back to town we just ate dry ramen and poptarts for dinner before watching Dr. Who on the computi and going to sleep.

Can you spot the dome?

Good cammo job.

A friendly neighbor:
Day 4 we went back out to finish sealing the dome and getting the property cleaned up.  The dome is AWESOME!  Very pleased with the outcome.  Still lots to do to make it liveable out there, but now we have somewhere to work out of the elements while we do it.

Looking out the front door:

This means YOU!

Not Cow

You've arrived
 More pretty

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sense of accomplishment! And stuff

After bailing due to rainout, we headed back to return the truck to sunny Laramie.  An hour and a half later and it was sunny and warm and we got the truck back without any problems. 

On the way up here the Check Engine light came on in the car and was making us pretty nervous being out in the middle of nowhere.  We got it checked out at the Laramie Honda dealership - VERY NICE PEOPLE there by the way- and they said it was an oxygen sensor that was malfunctioning and that the car wouldn't blow up or anything, but that we should have it checked out once we get back to Denver.

Back to the Property!

Here's your sign:  Somebody painted this on the road a while back as a warning.
Once we got out there the rain had stopped and it had warmed up and even though it was windy, it wasn't too bad, so we got to work finishing the dome...

Framing the dome

Panels going up and the woeful pyramid.

Got the Door on!


All done!


It felt good to get all the panels up (after carrying them 1/4 of a mile from the road), so we called it a day and went back in for food (Anongs Thai in Rawlins!), showers and alcohol / fatigue induced sleep.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Erkharts = Source Of Amusement or How We Met The Neighbors.

Towards the end of day one after much unloading and hauling of stuff to the property, the neighbors decided to drop by. Two sets of them. At the same time. “Coleen”, the crazy lady with no teeth and a (really) bad mullet, and “Dude” and “Dude’s Wife.” They told us their real names, but I suck with names, so… forgotten. They called us “the pyramid builders.” Apparently we’ve been the subject of much speculation, so when these two different sets of folks drove by, they had to stop and see who these nutjobs were.

As nutjobs, out here we’re in good company. We heard about the dude next door named “Montana” who is apparently not very friendly, and about “Crazy / Psycho What’shisname (Bob?)” across the road who likes to play with dynamite apparently.

Our visitors seemed nice, and were rather friendly, and eventually they saw that we weren’t quite done working so they let us get back to it.

Speaking of which… the pyramid is still standing (good design trumps shoddy construction) and the shrinkwrap flapping in the wind kept the antelope away. We got everything unloaded and most of the materials to the build site up by the pyramid and figured we’d call it a day while we’ve still got light left. It is still a vacation after all.

Anyway, we’ll take the truck back tomorrow morning and then head back out to build the Dome!

On the way up, the Wife was leading and got lost in the fog in Cheyenne and figured I-25 (Northbound) would eventually get us to Rawlins (It wouldn’t). We pulled over and Husband led us back to I-80 (Westbound).

Outside of Cheyenne just before the fog, we saw us some buffalo. Sorry, North American Bison. Mmm… Still good eatin’ no matter what you call ‘em.

We’re totally knackered and have just had showers, so now it’s time to go get some FOOD! 

Dinner: Salad Bar, Pizza, and BEER!  Then asleep by 9:30.

... Start of day 2:  Went back out to the property to take advantage of the lack of wind, only to be faced with cold rain.  We got several panels up to the build site and got the first two rows of the dome connected before the wife wussed out and got too cold and wet to continue.  (yes, she's OK with that. and so am I)  So now we're sitting in McDonalds back in Rawlins and she's drinking a warm carmel mocha and shivering.

We'll head back to Laramie to turn in the truck and then hopefully it will have stopped raining and we can finish assembling the dome.  If I have to, I'll finish it while she sits in the car and stays warm. : )  She's game enough, but we all have our limits.  I'd rather not make her mad when it's just the two of us surrounded by lots of places to hide a body.